SBA Changes Definition of ‘Small Business’

Published on February 27, 2012 by Robert Longley, About.com Guide

For the first time in almost 25 years, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has changed the definition of “small business” determining which businesses qualify for the wide variety of SBA loans and assistance programs.

The new small business size regulations, which take effect on March 12, will raise 37 maximum revenue-based size standards in 34 industries and three sub-industries in the “Professional, Scientific and Technical Services” sector and one size standard in the “Other Services” sector.

Overall, the SBA estimates that the increased size limits will allow at least 8,350 additional U.S. businesses to take advantage of SBA loans and services.

Also See: Top Government Assistance Programs

In setting business size standards, the SBA considers such factors as inflation and economic trends, average firm size, the degree of competition within the various business sectors, and federal government agency contracting trends.

Periodic review of the maximum business size standards is now required by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.

The SBA says that along with helping more business qualify for SBA assistance, the new size standards will give the federal agencies a larger selection of small businesses to choose from for small business contracting opportunities.

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